Vegan Banana Cake

This is the best vegan banana cake recipe I’ve ever had. It’s soft, tender, and full of rich banana flavor in every bite. Serve this sweet cake without frosting or add the most amazing vegan cream cheese frosting ever.

For more banana desserts, be sure to try this Vegan Banana Bread or this Chocolate Banana Brownies.

A slice of frosted vegan banana cake on a plate. In the background is more frosting and bananas.

I have always loved banana cakes. There’s something about that moist cake with the tangy cream cheese frosting that gets me every time. It’s one of those recipes that everyone talks about at a potluck. I knew I wanted to make my banana cake vegan. It also had to be easy. Because easy + delicious are my favorite ingredients.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Mashed bananas make a moist, dense cake that is perfectly flavored
  • Vinegar interacts with the flour and the baking soda to add a soft, tender texture
  • Adding sweet and tangy vegan cream cheese frosting makes this the best cake ever

Ingredient Spotlight

A bunch of 3 very ripe bananas sit on a white counter.

What Bananas are Best?

Look for bananas that are yellow with some or several brown spots. What you don’t want are bananas where the stem doesn’t break off easily, or it’s hard to peel. That’s an indication the bananas are too starchy.

If your bananas aren’t ripe enough, peel and slice them, and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook for up to 1 minute until the bananas are tender. Set them aside to cool to room temperature before mashing them.

Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • All-purpose flour — You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour (this is different than whole wheat flour) or a quality gluten-free baking flour
  • Baking soda + baking powder — Using these two together creates a high, lofty cake with a soft crumb
  • Salt — A bit of salt adds depth of flavor. Use table salt or sea salt
  • Spices — We’ll be using ground ginger and ground cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil — You can substitute melted coconut oil for vegetable oil
  • Granulated sugar — You can substitute coconut sugar for granulated sugar
  • Bananas — you’ll need 3 ripe bananas
  • Plant-based milk — Use your favorite vanilla or plain plant-based milk
  • Vanilla extract — This is an optional ingredient, but I like adding a bit of vanilla extract
  • Vinegar — I prefer apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar works, too

How to Make Vegan Banana Cake

Wondering how to make a vegan banana cake? Well, I like to think of it as a vegan yellow cake recipe with spices and bananas thrown into the mix. It’s pretty simple to make, but the flavors and textures will help you understand why it’s my favorite cake.

So, let’s get started on this banana cake from scratch.

  1. Stir together dry ingredients from the flour to the ground cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. Combine wet ingredients from the vegetable oil to the vinegar, in a food processor bowl. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Make the batter by stirring the banana mixture with the flour ingredients.
  4. Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan and bake it for 38 to 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

Banana Cake Frosting

Thanks to the ripe bananas, this vegan banana cake is sweet enough to serve on its own, or with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top. However, there’s nothing like creamy frosting. Here are some great options:

Of course, my favorite is tangy vegan cream cheese frosting.

A spoon full of vegan cream cheese frosting is positioned over banana cake.

Baking Options

  • Banana cake bread — bake it in a loaf pan and cook it for 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Banana cake cupcakes — distribute the cake batter into muffin pan compartments (either use papers or spray with vegetable cooking spray) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Make banana cake sheet cake — Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for around 40 minutes.
  • Banana Layer Cake — Pour the batter into 2 prepared round cake pans and bake for 38 to 32 minutes. Let the cakes cool and frost.

Marly’s Tips

  • Add some chopped nuts on top for decoration and flavor. There’s nothing as tasty as a banana nut cake!
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon zest to make a lemon banana cake.
  • To measure flour, sift the flour in its container. Then spoon flour into a measuring cup and use a knife to level it off.
  • Add a few sprinkles and candles and serve this as a vegan birthday cake.

Best Vegan Banana Recipes

Do you love recipes with bananas? Here are some favorite vegan banana recipes:

A slice of Vegan Banana Cake sits on a plate in front of bananas.

I think this is the best vegan banana cake recipe. Enjoy!

A slice of frosted vegan banana cake on a plate. In the background is more frosting and bananas.

Vegan Banana Cake

Take a slice of this Vegan Banana Cake (or two), spiced with ginger and cinnamon and topped with a creamy vegan cream cheese frosting.
5 from 13 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 285kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (see note)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large bananas ripe, peeled & sliced
  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • vegan cream cheese frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Spray a 9×13 cake pan with cooking spray.
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  • In a food processor, add the oil, sugar, bananas, plant-based milk, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar and pulse until smooth.
  • Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 38 to 40 minutes. The top should be golden brown. Use a tester inserted in the center to come out clean to confirm it's done.
  • Set aside the cake to cool.
  • You can serve this cake without frosting or with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Or you can serve it with vegan cream cheese frosting. Be sure to allow the cake to cool completely before adding any frosting.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, top it with the frosting.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

I sometimes will use whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe. You can do the whole 3 cups as whole wheat pastry flour for a more dense cake, or mix it half and half (half all-purpose flour, half whole wheat pastry flour).
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Banana Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 285 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Sodium 196mg8%
Potassium 187mg5%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 79IU2%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 46mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2011 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.

33 Responses to Vegan Banana Cake

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKatelyn @ Chef Katelyn Reply

    Thank you for this post, Marly! I hope it will encourage more people to try out a vegan diet:)

    p.s. I CANNOT wait to try this cake!! It sounds like a delicious banana bread in cake form:)

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAlison @ingredients, Inc. Reply

    Love this one! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyStella Reply

    Hey Marly! I love that Oprah did that-what a statement that is! I do vegan weeks and sometimes even months all the time, and I really don’t know why the idea is not more accepted. Even if one isn’t looking to be a vegan, the food is wonderful and it really does help with cholesterol and weight loss. It’s just a good diet/lifestyle in which to be familiar.
    Ooh, and I totally almost went bananas recently, so this cake is perfect for me:) Hmm, I suppose that isn’t really that funny if one thinks about it (smile). *Tee Hee*

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCookin' Canuck Reply

    That is quite an accomplishment – to have that many people change their diets so radically. While I am not vegan, I can certainly see the benefits if it is done in a balanced way (just like any other way of eating).

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyFeast on the Cheap Reply

    Mmm, this looks wonderful. Totally worth going vegan for 😉 And I love thinking about all the miniscule changes that can create one BIG change for the better.

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMonet Reply

    This cake looks heavenly. Isn’t it amazing how great vegan desserts can taste? I often find that I prefer them! They are usually so moist…and this cake looks no different! I love the push to eat less animal products, and I’m glad that this is becoming more mainstream. Thank you for sharing, Marley. Stay warm and safe!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyGrace Reply

    What a coincidence just saw the ad running for Oprah’s Vegan Week on the tube. I’ll have to tune in. I’ve not put a frosting on banana cake before, must try it. Looks delicious, love the pics Marly!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaria Reply

    The cake looks wonderful!

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMagic of Spice Reply

    Albert Einstein is my all time favorite person since childhood, and I am a vegetarian but have never seen this quote…I am tickled beyond words 🙂
    Now on to the cake…looks amazingly delicious 🙂

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyolivia Reply

    It looks like banana bread x1000. Count me in! Beautiful job!

  11. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNoelle Reply

    Great looking cake. I wonder why it does not convince more people to go vegan. Hopefully, with the influence Oprah has, people will make a move on it.

  12. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyStephania Reply

    Hello, you mean you use half of the stated the amount of the flour whole-wheat, of you use half a cup of whole-wheat flour?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Stephania. Yes, I used whole wheat for half of the stated amount of flour. I’ll add a note to the recipe to further clarify. Also, I always use whole wheat pastry flour when I’m adding whole wheat to my baked goods, but you could use regular whole wheat too.

  13. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKathy Hernandez Reply

    Is this right 15tsp of soda and baking powder?????

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Kathy! Actually, that recipe says 1.5 teaspoons. The “dot” is small, so I can see how that looks like a “15”. I’ll go in and change it to a fraction. Thanks!

  14. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKathy H Reply

    Thanks Marly , my mistake. I’ll be making this for dinner guests can’t wait to try it.

  15. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySvena Reply

    I have just 3 very ripe bananas. Now I know what I am gonna cook with them, Thank you for that recipe, Marly!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      You’re very welcome Svena! Besides, I hate to see perfectly very ripe bananas not being made into a cake!

  16. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyApril Reply

    Oh my gosh!! I was so excited to see this recipe. My fiancé went vegan with me this year and this was her favorite cake before the change so i decided to make it for her birthday. Big hit! I baked it for 35 minutes, only complaint is it was a little dry. I might try adding a touch of applesauce next time. I used wayfare original cream cheese. The frosting was delectable.

  17. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPrincess Reply

    Hi, I was wondering what is the macronutrients for this recipe? I’d really appreciate it. 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi there Princess. Here is the nutrient info per slice: 376 calories, 59g of carbs, 3g protein, 14g fat, and 2g fiber. You can reduce carbs by using a zero calorie sweetener like Swerve.

  18. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAmy Reply

    Delicious!!

  19. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKatie Lawless Reply

    I made this to bring to a friend’s housewarming party – my family is vegan and I like to make sure they’ll have options. It came out beautifully and was enjoyed by all the party guests. I did add a little extra powdered sugar and some vanilla extract to the frosting (I’m not crazy about cream cheese frosting). I’ll definitely add this to my vegan baking options.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Katie! So glad you liked this recipe…and I love your adaptions!

  20. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCarmen Reply

    My go to cake. Love it. easy, most. I add 1/2 cup crushed walnuts to mix.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Carmen! I’m so glad to hear it. I love your idea of adding walnuts too! ❤️

  21. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyChristina Reply

    Does this cake freeze well?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Christina! Yes, this banana cake freezes well. I usually cut it into slices and then place those slices on a tray and place the tray in the freezer. Once the slices are frozen, I transfer it to a freezer bag. If you have room in your freezer (I never do), you could freeze the entire cake!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyChristina

      This cake is absolutely delicious. I made it today. So moist

  22. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBolo Reply

    Delicious cake, very moist. Every one here liked

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Bolo! I’m so glad that you and everyone with you liked this banana cake recipe! It’s a favorite of ours too!

  23. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCourtney R Reply

    This cake is really great! I had some bananas nearly overripe and this was perfect. I used a bit less sugar and we skipped the frosting. Thanks so much, I will be making this again!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Courtney! I’m so glad you liked it. We are two peas in a pod because it’s one of my favorites too!

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